If you were mistreated by an employee of a restaurant what would you do?

Joined May 3, 2015
Recently, I went to a buffet restaurant and paid for my meal. I had a salad, soup, grain, few muffins and some focaccia. Then since I was still eating my meal and enjoying my time there. I was gaining some inspiration after several composed salads that I ate. Then I wanted to bring 2 muffins home with me. So as soon as I wrapped 2 muffins home. An older Caucasian busser said that I cannot bring food outside. I said,"Why? I did pay for my food, is it against the policy to bring food out?". She reiterated what she said earlier, and told me few customers did it anyway. Well, after that, I felt very pissed, mad and just left the muffins on a plate. I felt my visit was very unwelcoming, and she spoiled the meal that I was eating and enjoyed until she came. As if she was like a food police. So I talked to the manager nearby who is trying to do some business. And told him this incident. He just apologized. But the damages had already been done.
After that, I gave a complaint about poor customer service on their company's website, to the manager and a very poor review on Yelp.
If this happened to you, what would you do?
Joined Jun 21, 2015
It's a buffet. That implies all you can eat - there. Not all you can pack to take home.
A buffet near me offers it both ways. You pay by the pound for what leaves the building that isn't inside of you.
If you were told you couldn't bring food outside, I'd say yes, it is against policy.
I don't think your complaint or review is justified, but that's just my opinion. YMMV
Joined Jun 27, 2012
Almost all buffets will have a notice somewhere to educate diners that you are welcome to eat all you want but cannot remove food from the premises (even if the dish is partially eaten).
That said I would have let those muffins slide out the door....or at the very least asked you to pay an additional fee for "to go".
I don't post on Yelp nor do I use it when looking for a place to spend my dining dollars.
Life is too short to make decisions based on random comments on the internet.
Just sayin'.

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Joined Dec 18, 2010
You were not mistreated. Sorry. Perhaps you should have asked to purchase those muffins to-go.

But I have to ask... since you identified the busser by race... do you think the answer would have been (or should have been) different if the busser had been Asian, or African, or Martian?

p.s. A buffet near me charges a fee for "food waste", like leaving muffins on a plate. If I were you I'd delete that Yelp review; your not being fair. Would you be accommodating if someone took home all of the sugar packets from your restaurant?
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Joined Feb 8, 2009
Those older Caucasian buses will get you every time. I'll just give my answer as an Older Caucasian Chef. If your in a Hotel that offers a free buffet breakfast that comes with your room, then it's ok to bring a meal up to your room and even go back for a few muffins. If your in a "All you can eat buffet" then it's not ok to bring food out of the restaurant. Just think if everyone took food home for a snack or even another meal. I'm sure my answer isn't going to change the way you feel. If you think your right then live your life by your values.........ChefBillyB
Joined Aug 21, 2004
If you were mistreated by an employee of a restaurant what would you do?
To answer your question, I would tell the manager and the owner. As a former owner, I certainly didn't enjoy hearing about problems encountered by guests, but I needed to hear them as I couldn't take care of issues that weren't brought to my attention. I wouldn't publicly post my complaint unless it was severe enough that I felt the public needed to be alerted. I would like to give the establishment time to implement corrective measures. This is the way I wanted to be treated when I was an owner, so that is the courtesy I extend to owners today.

I agree with other posters as to buffets, you pay for the food eaten only while at the establishment.
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Hi doraima,

I don't understand... O.k. So you have an issue with a busser. Bussers are bussers because they aren't ready to have full length conversations with customers.

So instead of talking with a server, floor manager, or owner of that establishment you talk to a neighboring business? And you give bad reviews in the website after you started getting positive try inspiration (which you will use at your work) from some of their food?

After 20 years running my own business, I'm a former owner too. I didn't mind the cooking, the hours, the toilet fixing, but I hated dealing with customers--rather fix toilets. Wonder why?

May the gods of Karma decide for you to own or co-own a small place of your own......
Joined May 3, 2015
ok. guys I get your point. Maybe I was getting too emotional about how I was being mistreated in a buffet restaurant. But I did pay for my food. Thanks guys for the responses, this is probably perhaps I have to pay more attention to this issue. Next time, I will watch myself using race, very emotional issues out of this post.
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Thanks for responding back. Hope you can look at situations from both sides in the future, it really helps you grow.



Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
I am sorry, but I don't see how you were mistreated. It doesn't sound the like busser berated you. She just told you matter of factly that you are not allowed to take out food, from a buffet style restaurant, unless they have the option to purchase things "to-go." You use the excuse, that you did pay for your food. Well yes and no. You paid to eat the food there, at the buffet. How could a place stay in business if they allowed people to eat all they want, then take food home? Sure, you only grabbed a few muffins, but what about the guy who wants to load down a bag with shrimp and use the same excuse, "well, I paid for my food." Working in hotels I used to see this often, especially at holiday buffets. Someone would complain because all they ate was the cold food and were too full to eat the hot offerings and wanted to-go boxes to fill up. More times than not, it was because they had devoured a couple pounds of cold shrimp, were full, and now wanted to take home more food for a later meal.


Joined Mar 11, 2021
It's been quite useful for us with the pandemic as our delivery sales skyrocketed. I never had complaints from customers so far over cold food.
Joined Mar 14, 2021
I over heard a server say to the bartender “I get a tip if I give them good service or not.”
That’s most of the problem.
Joined Dec 9, 2020
" I felt my visit was very unwelcoming, and she spoiled the meal that I was eating and enjoyed until she came. "
seriously? grow up
Are you sure you're on the correct website?
Joined Mar 14, 2021
Used to be a nice boutique restaurant in the canyon above Malibu The Three Dolphin Inn.
A sign on the wall said: “The Customer is Always Wrong.”
It was effective.

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